DES MOINES, Iowa — Joe Bolkcom has watched his Democratic party lose strength in the Iowa legislature, lose some of its members who represented the state in Congress and lose back-to-back presidential elections to Donald Trump in Iowa. After more than two decades in office, he has decided that this term will be his last.
Bolkcom, a state senator who has represented the Iowa City region since 1999, said that it’s time for someone “with more energy” to replace him next year. He deplores how toxic politics has become, particularly on social media and talk shows, and wants to find another way to serve the community.
“It’s time to rotate the crops,” Bolkcom said as he borrowed the phrase from Tom Vilsack’s campaign for governor in 1998.
Bolkcom is optimistic about Democrats’ chances this November in Iowa, despite concerns from others that 2022 favors Republicans.